Friday, 6 March 2009

Don't like Scrum. But will not use anything else! Part 4

This is "Don't like Scrum. But will not use anything else! Part 4". But really it should be: Love "Scrum", but it is not perfect. Yet.

Right, I am now a Certified Scrum Master, so I should know more about the pros and cons of Scrum, and how to reduce some of the cons/risks.

Shorter sprints. Definitely something I have learned, so 2 or 3 weeks seems ideal. I have been involved in 4-5 weeks sprints, and they work, but not so well. Longer sprints have more scope, more risk, and can end up with several developers idle for many days at the end. Shorter sprints cuts this to perhaps max one to two days if any. It is also makes you pick only a few stories so they have more focus, instead of 5 stories which end up spanning many sprints due to impediments etc.

Each developer should pick only one task, and try to share tasks. Avoid bottlenecks and teams overdependent on one person.

Use electronic tools for task board, but have it showing clearly in stand up room, ie on projector or large screen.

Dont be a jobsworth police, but try and get the group interested to be on time for standups. And for people to say nearly only 3 sentences, no need to explain in detail what they did, so less pressure to have a "plan" ready and also much quicker.

Arrange discussions for later/afterwards, if anything pops up, do not solve them there.

Encourage another voluntary standup/chat in the afternoon if standup is in the morning or inverse. This to further encourage rubberduck chat and share knowledge and problems.

As for the Scrum Master certification, I did a two day Mike Cohn course here in Oslo. He is very good teacher/lecturer, as he knows the subject, have a well prepared agenda/curriculum, can answer all questions clearly and with authority. So I can recommended the course very much.